Nigerian midfielder Azubuike Okechukwu is delighted to have returned from a first grade hamstring injury earlier than the doctors’ initial estimated time.
The former Nigeria Under-23 captain made his comeback in Yeni Malatyaspor’s Turkish Super League game at Alanyaspor on Sunday, replacing former Arsenal prospect Nacer Barazite just after the hour mark.
The defensive midfielder last featured for the newly promoted side on October 1 when he pulled up just before half time against Konyaspor. Doctors initially feared he may be out for up to two months but he returned to full training by the end of October.
“It feels great to be back (from injury). I’m thankful to God and our Doctors for their efforts,” Azubuike told www.aclsports.com
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In his absence, Malatyaspor won just one league game out of the five games and his presence in the final thirty minutes could not help them avoid a slim loss at Alanyaspor on Sunday.
“It (the loss) sort of soured the comeback for me. We needed to give our fans a point at least so I felt bad coming into the game and couldn’t help get a point,” submitted Azubuike.
Yeni Malatyaspor are currently placed 12th of the 18-team league table but the former Bayelsa United midfielder believes it is too early for their fans to start pressing the panic button as regards a likely demotion from the top tier.
“The league is a marathon, so I think it’s too early (to think of relegation) even though we have big fixtures ahead.”
One of such big games is Yeni’s next league game, a home tie against Besiktas at the Malatya Stadium. Azubuike Okechukwu, who had started every league game before his injury on October 1 will be hoping to return to the starting lineup for Saturday’s game.